SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A group of anti-Israel activists who protested against Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer during a tournament in New Zealand had their convictions quashed.
At a High Court hearing Nov. 11, Justice Paul Heath threw out the charges against six activists who had been found guilty in Auckland District Court of disorderly behavior. The activits used megaphones outside the ASB Tennis Classic in 2010 to protest the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
John Minto, the protest leader, told Fairfax newspapers in New Zealand that the decision was a victory for democracy and the right to dissent.
"We have a democracy here, and dissent and the right to public protest is what keeps democracy going,” he said.
Play had to be suspended as officials debated whether to continue Peer’s match due to the small but noisy demonstration outside the tennis complex.